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tv   Today  NBC  January 17, 2010 8:00am-9:00am EST

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good morning. desperate hours. the devastation is immense, the loss incomprehensible, but in all of the horror, there are new signs of life. survivors are still being located and relief is making its way to those most in need. one year later, president barack obama calls on two predecessors to help manage what he calls one of the largest relief efforts in u.s. history. at home, a potential political crisis as the president marks one year in office. and golden moment. the stars of the big and small screens gather for the first big award events of the season. who will strike gold. the winner is still up in the
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air, today sunday, january 17th, 2010. captions paid for by nbc-universal television good morning, everyone. welcome to this special split edition of "today." i'm lester hold coming to you from the airport in port-au-prince, haiti. >> lester, the pictures continue to shock and sadden so many of us. >> reporter: it's a story that continues to get dramatic by the hour, a lot to report overnight we got another pretty strong aftershock that jolted a lot of us awake. fortunately it was short in duration. there was also good news on the search and rescue front. a woman has pulled from the wreckage of that hotel in haitianville that collapsed during the earthquake. she was only dehydrated but
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alive. some people had been pulled alive from a supermarket. there's been a massive rescue operation there. we'll learn more about that coming up. the u.n. meantime is calling this the worst disaster it has ever responded to. not only the scope of the disaster but the lack of local officials with which to coordinate the relief operation. secretary of state clinton was on the ground in port-au-prince yesterday to get a look at the devastation for herself and to help map out the u.s. continued relief response here. that's all coming up as we tell you some of what we saw in our tour around this area yesterday, jenna. also ahead we'll have an exclusive interview with the families of four missing lynn university students. families have been making emotional pleas all week for help. some of their fellow students are back home, but four students and two faculty members are still missing and we're going to talk to those families coming up a lileit later. we're also going to be joined by two film makers who were in haiti during the earthquake and they'll tell us what they saw and what they
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captured on film in those first unbelievable moments. the pictures were unimaginable so we'll definitely take a look at that and hear from them. lester. >> reporter: all right, jenna. we are watching this whole story take what probably an inevitable turn as we move several days out past the earthquake. the relief supplies are getting here but not necessarily getting to people as quickly ashey would like or hope, so impatience is making this a very volatile place. >> who is here to help us already? we can't do nothing. >> reporter: now days into the disaster, a cruel disconnect is emerging between scenes like this, food arriving by the plane load, and what people are not seeing in hard-hit neighborhoods just a few miles away. >> they need food. >> reporter: shock and grief are now exploding into anger. spontaneous riots erupted on the streets. government buildings burned and there was even gunfire. officials are warning food
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convoys to increase their security, as hunger and thirst take a mounting toll. >> most of them go into the shops and steal food. they hustle it. they sell it black market.  >> reporte the u.s. and united nations are working to set up food and water distribution sites, but there are still many challenges. one u.n. official said the scene here is worse than the aftermath of the 2004 indonesian earthquake. here the government is literally and fig afternoonly in shambles. only half of port-au-prince's police force is on the street. the haitian people know a little something about resill yancy. they know it before the earthquake and certainly know it now as we re-establish a sense of community. but they still need water, food and even medical care. this woman has a hurt leg. she can't walk but she hasn't received any care. there were also more aftershocks.
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sending these jittery residents who were tapping a source of water briefly scrambling. bulldozers began attacking the massive debris, even when they couldn't tell if anyone was in it. and adding to the general weariness here are the dead left on the streets or decomposing in the ruins of their homes. >> two stories collapsed. there are several people inside under it. >> reporter: you can smell them. >> yes. >> reporter: those bodies are of this woman's four children. >> she wants to bury her children. >> yes. >> reporter: but amid the death life continues to renew itself. we found this woman nursing her new son born last wednesday in this makeshift encampment, the day after the earthquake. he and his family together starting from scratch. you obviously can't miss the sound of the helicopters behind me. one of those helicopters was able to make a food and water drop to a tent city here yesterday. it did lead to some chaos. that's one of the concerns they have as they try to move forward
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with distribution sites for food and water, how to get it to people but get it to them in an orderly fashion. meantime as we told you at the top of the newscast, there has been some positive news on the rescue, the search and rescue front as we go five days past the earthquake. cary sanders has been following one of those rescues at a supermarket. what's the latest. >> it's amazing news, lester. we were there with the crews as they were looking, going through hour by hour with the belief that there were people inside a collapsed supermarket. overnight in the darkness they were able to rescue three people. a young girl, a teenager, a boy and a woman in her 40s. it's incredible to see. they're still there right now. this is the work they're doing, moment by moment search. 8:53 a.m., a search team from turkey gingerly looks for an entry point. at minimum, they try to create an air hole for the living.
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it was the height of the shopping day when the five-story supermarket collapsed. inside teams say there are signs of life. >> i never gave up hope. >> this man's sister-in-law was inside. he's held vigil since the quake. he's we areally but optimistic that she's still alive. 9:53 a.m. an american team joins the turks. 33 members begin an assessment. >> you go in one section, cover that area. if they're not there, you go somewhere else. >> reporter: with the help of blueprints they build the structure backwards to see where air pockets have trapped survivors. from the roof, rescuers enter a hole,lither on their stomachs five feet to another hole, drop down and create another hole. >> me and the other brothers worked about two and a half hours to get through 12 inches of concrete. >> reporter: it's slow work not
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dark. >> it's a little nerve racking. >> reporter: 10:07 the american team confirms two are still alive. they talk to a 17-year-old girl who says she is with a boy. >> they're telling us right now they're not hurt, they're not injured, just thirsty. >> reporter: and that fear of tremors comes true. at 10:59 a.m. for 11 terrifying seconds the ground shakes. >> get away from the pile. >> reporter: 17 minutes later a frantic phone call. >> we are digging on the right track. >> reporter: cell phone signals penetrate the debris. >> there's a bunch of people in the aisle with him. they're fine. >> there's how many people alive? >> he said more than 60. >> reporter: 60? >> yes. >> reporter: for five hours the americans and turks dig, while in south florida they anxiously wait for news of their mother. finally a water truck arrives, teams snake a hose down to the
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survivors. this rescue effort is now a symbol of haiti's hope. it's amazing news that we're just getting, but the woman that we profiled there, the mother of ritchie and his brother ricky, they have just gotten word from joe fernandez of the miami fire department that she was among the three, she's that woman who was pulled out alive unscathed. that she was distraught but she's ne but shaken. she's been taken to a u.n. facility. one of our producers has just gotten off the phone with ricky ditmer and he says in a quote it's a miracle that she's not only safe but unscathed. when she gets back i'm going to spend as much time with her as possible. i'm going to hug her and not let her go for hours. lester, by my calculation, she was apparently inside an air pocket and she was there for 108 hours. a grocery store, so she was able to survive on things that she
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could reach in that air pocket. >> reporter: imagine getting that phone call and imagine how many people right now are waiting for that very same phone call. >> absolutely. the new york fire department is here as well, lester. they are reporting at a supermarket that they have also found three people. i think it's a different supermarket because the one that we profiled there, that was the team from turkey and the folks from south florida. so there are a lot of urban search and rescue teams here working and it's so good to know that there are successes so many days now after this earthquake. >> reporter: there are. at the top of the newscast, you know, we talked about people complaining that the food and water is not getting there soon enough and it's hard, but i don't want to cut these people short that are flying in right now because these people are woing incredibly hard. the search and rescue teams, these soldiers from the 82nd airborne, the flights as you know, we're about 300 yards from the runway here. they have been coming in all night long.
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>> and just so folks understand, you know, there was a lot of early day criticism why has america not been able to get the food to the people. there's a lot of countries here who also weren't able to do that as well. now it is getting to them. those planes are leaving with their humanitarian daily rations. it's like an mre that the military eats. but it's actually lentils, the type of food people are used to eating here. it will give them 2500 calories. it's beginning to the -- to get to the people. they're on the edge of unrest. >> reporter: we didn't get a rot of sleep because of the flights but that's okay. thanks. that's really a great story. we want to go back now to jenna in studio 1a in new york. >> it's stories like that that continue to give family members hope who are waiting to hear any word from haiti. president obama says the u.s. relief effort is one of the largest in history. for more on the u.s. response to the crisis, we're now joined by david gregory, moderator of
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"meet the press." >> good morning, jenna. >> i do want to start in haiti. secretary of state hillary clinton was in the country to help coordinate u.s. efforts. how broad will the scope of those efforts be? everything from relief to political aid to the haitian president, rene preval down there? >> i huge priority is security. that fear of unrest, as there is frustration, there is desperation, there is impatience about getting those supplies to the people. this is something that the military will play a big role in, already more than a thousand troops on scene, more on the way by the early part of the we. as you see those pictures of secretary clinton, part of that message is to help president preval and the government try to get organized again to function, because in effect the u.s. and the u.n. have to play some sort of temporary role in running the country, which is not something that the u.s. wants to go on for very long. >> and that is an uphill battle there. former presidents bush and clinton are going to lead a new
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fund to raise money for haiti. what message does this send to president obama that his two predecessors are coming together in this effort. >> reporter: it's a very strong signal and i think the audience will be very interested to hear our interview with them and how they talk about the industry teejic importance -- strategic importance of haiti and humanitarian need. they both make the point that beyond the immediate focus of this crisis and humanitarian needs, there's going to have to be a sustained commitment to haiti on the part of the american people and because it will be the u.s. government's commitment as well. president clinton, who is a special envoy, said this was such a hoemt moment of hope for haiti. they were just turning the corner to put together a long-term plan. they need to try to restore where they were to get back on that path. >> real quick, i know the president heads to massachusetts later today to campaign for democrat martha coakley. the race is a tight one to fill
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ted kennedy's seat on tuesday. what political risk does obama take in not only going there, but what happens if she loses. >> reporter: that is the risk, if she loses. there's also the risk that health care is affected. white house officials say there is another path to get health care passed through congress as these negotiations continue, but make no miake, they are considerably worried about her losing as an initial test of what democrats are facing in this election year. >> and a quick preview of what's coming up on "meet the press." >> we'll have the very latest on rescue attempts. we'll hear from general keen and dr. shah and two former presidents, clinton and bush, talking about relief efforts and their role going forward. >> all right, david gregory, thank you for your time. janice hf is and a good sunday morning. i'm news 4 meteorologist chuck bell. it is, indeed, a rainy start in the washington area. a check of live doppler shows the rain moving on in.
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it's raining hard across much of central virginia. don't expect much improvement from mother nature during the course of your sunday. temperatures right now, in the upper 30s to nosing in on 40 degrees, down toward springfield and triangle. temperatures are going to move very little during the course of the day today. could get between three quarters of an inch now here's jenna. >> all right, janice, thank you. families of the lynn university students still missing in haiti plea for help to find their loved ones. we'll talk with them right after these messages. a diamond-infused sensation. touch of sparkle cream oil body wash from nivea. touch and be touched.
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we thank you very much for being with us. i can't imagine what you're going with. len, i'd like to start with you. your daughter, britney, has been missing since the quake struck on tuesday. how did you find out, how did you get the news that she was missing? >> lynn university at one point that evening called us and told us that they received a text and that they had eight students, they had eight students that were accounted for and four missing. and our four daughters and two professors were missing. >> cheryl ann, let me ask you this, three days ago you were told that your daughter along with three others had been found. it turns out those reports were false. it must have been heart-breaking for you. what did that do for your spirit and your hope in this effort? >> it's pure devastation. it's devastation. i can't -- none of us here can believe thate're actually in
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this situation right now. we thought we were coming down to florida to get our family members and we're still waiting for them to come home. >> and we need help. we need the federal government to get to the hotel montana and get our daughters and get those two professors. these were people, humanitarians, they were down there helping the poorest of the poor, and we know that president clinton and president bush is coming on this show next and we're going to ask you right now to make a commitment to make sure that they know our plight, that our children, our children and their fathers are in that hotel and we need their help, now! >> i know that help is trying to be coordinated as quickly and as efficiently as possible. ally, let me ask you this. i understand your father was -- he was one of the missing, he was one of the chaperones.
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he was in the fitness center when the quake struck. we got news that a woman was pulled from all that devastation. we know that it wasn't one of the four missing people or the four missing women we're talking about, but does it give you hope that they are still looking for people and there is word that some may still be there? >> of course. i mean in a situation like this, hope i the only tangible thing any of us have. every single person who's rescued from the hotel is a victory and someone's family. maybe not ours, but someone's family is coming out of there. and it could be our father, it could be my father, it could be dr. bruno or any one of these parents' children. so every single person tt comes out is a huge victory. i know this university is working so hard to create more victories and really affirm our faith and the hope that we all of. >> jean, i know your daughter is among the missing. what are your plans, are you going to head to haiti or stay at home base where you are now?
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>> no, we are staying here. lynn university has done everything that they can. they're providing us with everything that we need here. we as parents have made a decision to stay here, based here until we hear word. i think lynn and their efforts have done everything. we need more help from the government. we need the u.s. embassy to step it up definitely. they have been very lax in getting information to us on survivors and the hospitals and things and i think that's where we're fog down. our plan is not to go to haiti. what are we going to do there. >> i know courtney's parents are there right now and we want to say our thoughts and prayers are with all of you in these rescue efforts. thank you so much for sharing your time and we are thinking about all of you. we'll be right back after this. dad, i'm not sixteen anymore. still, it was la. well... you're not gonna have to worry about that anymore.
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still to come this morning, more coverage of the haiti relief and rescue operation, including an interview with two documentary film makers who captured the moment of panic as that earthquake struck here on tuesday. we'll talk to them coming up. ♪ with the centers for disease control and prevention saying... that vaccination is still your best protection, walgreens and take care clinics... now offer h1n1 flu vaccinations... every day at our more than 7000 locations nationwide... for just $18.00. so stop in today. walgreens. there's a way to stay well.
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an obscure view of the washington monument for you. a soggy sunday on tap today. your week-long forecast is just ahead. good morning, everyone. i'm kimberly suiters. it's sunday, january 17th, 2010. here's a look at what's making news this morning. the worst disaster the united nations has ever faced. that's how one u.n. worker describes the earthquake in haiti. the american health organization puts the death toll at as many as 100,000, but haiti's government believes it's at least that many and 300,000 people are now homeless as a result of the quake. secretary of state hillary clinton back in washington this morning after a one-day trip to haiti. she returned with 22 americans
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who had been there. clinton met with hatian president rene preval and assured him that ameca would do everything to help the hatian people. members of the virginia urban search and rescue team from fairfax county helped save a 29-year-old student who was trapped beneath a collapsed building in port-au-prince for more than four days. it took the rescue team 30 hours to save her. the full story is coming up at 9:00. republican bob mcdonnell has taken the oath of office to become virginia's 71st governor. in mcdonnell's address, he promised jobs would be his top priority. and the annual nbc 4 health and fitness expo is heading its final day. it runs until 5:00. admission is free. visit for health screenings, family-friendly activities, and live-saving information. in just a moment, chuck will join us at a look at this
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weekend weather forecast. stay with us.
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chuck bell joining us now. chuck, get out the umbrellas if you have to head out, right? >> absolutely, right. umbrellas and rain slickers of all types and sizes required toda here's a check of live doppler. you can definitely tell the rain has moved in. if you haven't looked out the windows yet, trust me, it's raining outside. temperatures are in the upper 30s to nearing in on 40 degrees right now. we're not going to budge too much with temperatures today, staying mostly between 39 and about 44 degrees. cloudy today. rain pretty much all day long. could be moderate at times. between three quarters of an inch and 1 1/4 of an inch of rain before all is said and done. plenty of sunshine tomorrow afternoon. a fairly pleasant day. tomorrow's high, back up near 50 degrees. after today, at least a caouple dry ones in a row. a good day to go inside to
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the washington convention center. coming up at noon, doreen gentzler at the we're back on this sunday morning, january 17th, 2010. we thank our crowd for being with us outside of the plaza. i'm jenna wolfe. lester wolf is in port-au-prince, haiti, and we'll join him in just a few minutes. coming up in this half hour we'll meet two documentary film students who were working at an orphanage just outside of port-au-prince when the earthquake hit. the two were separated but they are reunited this morning and we'll speak to them in an exclusive interview. also we'll hear their story of survival and take a look at president obama, sort of survived the first year of sorts and for the first lady's first year, both at the white house from the economy and a nation at
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war to health care and jobs. it's been a tough year all around. we'll get a presidential report card, if you will, from presidential insiders. that's all coming up. lester, we'll send it back to you in port-au-prince to talk about what's happening down there. >> reporter: all right, jenna. we want to talk now about medical care. this is a country that did not have adequate medical care in the first place, not enough hospitals and health care facilities. now, obviously, the demand is huge. we've got dr. nancy snyderman who's joined us to talk somewhat about that. what do they need and who do they need to come? >> what they really need are large, bulk supplies, the kind that the military is bringing in and they need surgeons. i got an e-mail last night from some surgeons who normally do relief work and they flew from miami, got into haitian airspace and were spent back because they wouldn't clear customs and there's difficulty getting airplanes in. what they're seein are fractures, concussions, the kind of injuries you would see where they really need people to know e.r. care, orthopedic and
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trauma. >> reporter: and i know some peeled hospitals have arrived and are setting up surgical facilities. >> the israelis came in day before yesterday and they came in a 747 and really set up to do a really big operative care. what we're seeing most of all are small field hospitals. they're serving -- they're setting bones, taking care of small woundsnd hopefully get people out. >> reporter: i was walking through one of these makeshift encampments where survivors have gathered and i found a woman sitting there and her husband is explaining she's got a badly injured leg and i can see she's got this horrible wound and that's not getting care. i didn't speak the language. you've got to do something, you've got to get her to care. >> right. it's not going to be a situation where you can most of the time stay in one of the tent cities or lie around and hope that people will find you. it really requires people around you having some gumption and getting people ther there's three million people
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that need help. >> reporter: you are a surgeon and brought a lot of your medicare care and so we'll look for your reporting on nightly news. dr. snyderman, thank you very much. we want to switch gears and go back home and get a check of the weather. for that we'll say good morning to janice huff. >> gd morning, lester. we've got quite a crowd out here this morning. even though it's a bit on the chilly side and kinda cloudy, everybody is here. celebrating your 32nd wedding anniversary, congratulations. happy anniversary. happy birthday to sherlock holmes. i love are hat. >> thank you. there's been a big weekend celebration for sherlock holmes. the bakers street irregulars based in new york city have a big party every year and snchts and a good sunday morning everyone. i'm news 4 meteorologist chuck bell. a large area of rain pushing northbound through the commonwealth of virginia, headed due north into the washington metropolitan area. all this rain has yet to come
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forth today. we'll get a little break late this afternoon and this evening when this slot of drier air comes in, but that doesn't mean we're completely done with the rain. current temperatures are in the upper 30s to near 40 drees. and when we're not here, you can always check on your weather online at now here's jenna. janice, thanks. two university of florida graduate students were in haiti working on a documentary film when the earthquake hit. moments later their cameras started rolling and here to share their incredible story are john and roman. good morning to both of you. >> good morning. >> you returned yesterday. in fact from what i understand you're both pretty much wearing the same clothes you were wearing while you were down there. we'll get you clothes to change into in a little bit. but, first of all, how are you guys doing emotionally? and then we'll get to exactly what happened. d how were you after the earthquake hit? >> yeah. i think it was definitely a
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shock when the earthquake hit. we're glad to be back in the united states, but i think our hearts and minds are definitely with the people in haiti and the people that we met while we were filming and with all the orphans who we were with the entire time we were there. >> how are you doing this morning? >> i'm still in a sort of daze. i'm not sure what's going on half the time. as john said, i keep thinking back to what happened and how the people there are doing right now. >> so you both were working at an orphanage filming a documentary when this hit. i understand as soon as you felt the earthquake, you both ran in to get your cameras. can you tell us what the first few moments were like and what you were able to film? >> yeah. it was definitely a shock when the earthquake hit. i think we were just trying to recover and figure who was going on. but as soons ait hit, we ran right into the streets and we saw people screaming for loved ones, we saw people praising jesus to the sky, just so thankful that they were saved and other people trying to dig their friends out of the rubble with anything they had. >> one of the big things we're hearing is while it was happening, nobody understood
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what it was. a lot of these people wouldn't know what an earthquake was. they never felt one. did you know and were you explaining it to the children or people around you? >> it took us a little bit, a few seconds and then we understood. we saw the dust, we saw people bloody, we saw destroyed buildings and it hit us. the person we were with, john dubon, he got on the phone and started helping people and we started realizing it's a crisis. >> how were the children? >> the children were shocked. i mean as soon as it hit, they started forming in a small circle in the center of the orphanage and we just saw them looking out. they could hear the screams of the people in their community that they had grown up with, friends, and i just can't imagine the kindf psychological trauma they were going through. and i think it kind of symbolizes the trauma the nation is going through. >> i understand you were separated trying to get back. just to give people an idea of how tough this was and the chaos
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that followed, ishere a message or something you want to tell people just from having been there a couple times about what the haitian spirit is like and spirit of these people is like? >> i think there's a really strong haitian spirit. actually right after the quake hit there was a group of with 200 people that just started singing trying to support their community and everything. i think there is that spirit in the haitian people and i think they will overcome this. >> you as well? >> i agree with john. they're strong in spirit and they spend a lot of time together. they will deal with this. >> we thank you both so much for coming and for sharing your time and your thoughts with us both. >> thank you so much. >> we'll be right back after this. who do you feel like seeing? no one. depression hurts in so many ways. sadness. loss of interest. lack of energy. anxiety. the aches and pains. cymbalta can help. cymbalta is a prescription medication that treats many symptoms of depression. tell your doctor right away if your depression worsens, you have unusual changes in behavior,
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or thoughts of suicide. antidepressants can increase these in children, teens, and young adults. cymbalta is not approved for children under 18. people taking maois or thioridazine or with uncontrolled glaucoma should not take cymbalta. taking it with nsaid pain relievers, aspirin, or blood thinners may increase bleeding risk. severe liver problems, some fatal, were reported. signs include abdominal pain and yellowing of the skin or eyes. talk with your doctor about your medicines, including those for migraine, or if you have high fever, confusion and stiff muscles, to address a possible life-threatening condition. tell your doctor about alcohol use, liver disease, and before you reduce or stop taking cymbalta. dizziness or fainting may occur upon standing. side effects include nausea, dry mouth, and constipation. ask your doctor about cymbalta. depression hurts. cymbalta can help. a rich and airy treat. ♪ because after you've washed the bills...
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solemnly swear. >> reporter: the president was sworn in with the economy at the edge of the abyss and the nation at war. >> today i say to you that the challenges we face are real. >> reporter: immediately putting his political capital on the line, the president pushed through a $787 billion stimulus plan he promised would create jobs. >> today does mark the beginning of the end. >> reporter: in between bailing out wall street, the auto industry and managing to avoid a depression -- >> judge sonia sotomayor. >> reporter: -- the president nominated the first hispanic supreme court juice, then took on the toughest domestic battle of his presidency, an ambitious reworking of the american health care system. spurring a passionate debate. >> you lie! >> reporter: the fight stretched into the new year and the president's once sky-high approval ratings slumped as
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unemployment stubbornly stayed in double digits. >> you have to question the decision to per severe on health care given what's happened with the economy. >> reporter: on the foreign stage the obamas stepped out and were the toast of world capital. the president promising to restore america's image abroad. but as the president reached out, iran dug in and a newly aggressive taliban led the president to send 30,000 more troopso afghanistan, even as he wound down the iraq war, the president struggled to meet his own deadline to close guantanamo's prison. accepting a surprise nobel peace prize in december, mr. obama reminded the world he is a war time president. at years end the president tried to squeeze in a holiday rest but a christmas day terror attempt and intelligence failure was a wake-up call. >> the system has failed in a potentially disastrous way.
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>> reporter: the beginning of 2010 has proven to be just as challenging with unemployment not budging and now a humanitarian crisis in haiti. for "today," savannah guthrie, nbc news, the white house. joining us with some ininsight are andy card and joe lockhart, press secretary for former president bill clinton. good morning, gentlemen, thanks for being with us. >> good morning. >> good morning, jenna. >> it has indeed been an extraordinary year for the president. andy, let me start with you. what is your assessment of this administration thus far? >> well, it's been a year of contrasts. on the one hand and the other hand. great frustration and couldn't deliver. he did challenge congress and they didn't live up to the responsibility so i think it was kind of a frustrating year for the president, even though it certainly was a year of great celebration and hope for him. we all celebrated his inauguration. that was a historic time for the country. but the reality of the job i think has weighed him down and has caused him not to end the
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year the way he expected he would. >> joe, let me ask you this. you heard them question the president's decision to pursue health care while the economy is as sluggish. you worked for a president who tried to push health care through. did president obama pick the right time to do this again? >> i think he picked the only time you can do it. health care is probably the most difficult issue for a political leader to tackle. your apex at the beginning so i don't think he had a choice and he ran on it and promised the people that he would. i think he's satisfied that he's gotten it done. it's been a long, bitter battle. but i think if you look at the year, i think politically -- the political benefits have lagged the policy benefits. we were on the precipice of a great depression where 10% unemployment would be nothing. remember, we had 25% unemployment in the last great depression and it took a decade to recover from. this economy has turned around in part -- in large part because
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of the president's decisive actions. the political benefits will catch up eventually. >> andy, you mentioned earlier about the president's popularity. yes, it's down. recent polls show his approval rating at 47%. the economy accounts for much of that drop. how much of it can be linked to unified opposition from republicans for initiatives like health care. >> i actually think the reason that the president's popularity is not as high as he would like it is that his policies are not consistent with the direction america wants to take. and so i think the expectations to the american people and barack obama's expectations might been the same when he -- might not have been the same when he took the oath of office. the american people were looking for change but i'm not sure they wanted the change barack obama decided to deliver to america and i don't think it was right for him to pursue the health care reform effort the way he did given the real needs we had in the country to establish a solid foundation for our economy. so i don't think that the right resolve was demonstrated from washington, d.c., to address the challenges of our economy.
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we need more discipline from congress and from washington rather than have a congress that is pursuing its wants rather than addressing the nation's needs. >> well, joe, right now the president is going to be pursuing the situation in massachusetts in that senate race with the special election coming up on tuesday, helping fill ted kennedy's seat. what will tuesday's results tell us about the president's ability to push for initiatives through? >> well, i think the tight race there reflects the way politics works. to bring about massive change, which the president is trying to do and will do in health care, creates great controversy. the legislative process is ugly and messy. but i think you'll see within the next couple of weeks the president in the rose garden signing a health care bill that fundamentally changes the way our health care system works. you'll have tens of millions of americans who will get health insurance. they haven't had that. we lose focus on those things when we get into the nitty-gritty of the politics. so again, political calendars
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don't always fit exactly the way you want, it is a messy process but the president promised change and he is delivering on that change as messy as it is in washington with all the part tan bickering. >> joe and andy, thank you so much for being with us. >> thanks, jenna. >> thank you, jenna. and now here's tamra. it's been a busy year for first lady michelle obama as well. since assuming the role of first lady, she's visited 14 states, eight foreign countries and hosted 200 plus white house events, all while being a mom and an advocate for her husband. speaking of her husband, last night the president surprised michelle with a birthday outing. the first lady turns 46 years old today. incredible year for her as we mentioned. robin is from the "washington post" and author of the new book "michelle, her first year as first lady." robin, good morning. thanks for joining us. >> good morning. >> robin, it was highly debated after the election whether michelle obama would be more modern or more traditional. a year later, how do you answer that? >> well, i think she's been a
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little bit of both actually. i think she's really sort of forging sort of a new way of being first lady. she's taken the idea of mom in chief which she talked about a lot and expanded on that so that it's not just about taking care of her own children, but it's sort of turning a lot of those maternal instincts to a much broader agenda. i think she's also this year going forward prepared to delve into more substantive policy issues. >> let's talk about the book itself and some of the amazing photographs. first, of course, of the fashion. many thought it would minimize the first lady's position but it brought a lot of eyes on her, including, of course, this official portrait which showed her arms. what do we know now about her fashion and what is she saying with those selections? >> you know, i think part of it is just certainly great fun to see what she's going to wear, because she has an eclectic and very personal wardrobe.
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>> what about the shorts, for example. that turned into a big buzz moment for her. >> yeah, the shorts were a buzz moment because it was one of those instances when you really sort of realized that you're no longer a private person. and when you step off of air force one, you're stepping into history. so you have to be aware of that all the time. >> you touched on the mom in chief aspect of her life and also the role that she's playing with her husband. she's turned into quite an eloquent speaker over this one year. >> well, you know, she really got her feet w this first year and she spent a lot of time doing the very traditional duties of a first lady but she was also at her best when she sort of stepped from behind the lecturn and was mentoring, and you got a sense of who she is as a first lady and as a person.
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>> well, it is an amazing book and you realize how time flies and the impact of a photograph that says so much. robin, thank you so much. up in the air about the golden globes? see who has the best chance of winning gold tonight. what's this? h. well, that's how i'm going to get there. it's guidance. oh, so maybe i should follow it, too. it doesn't work that way, pete. you see, this is my own personalized plan. you've got to get one that's right for you. okay. but i can still walk along it while we talk, right? [ laughing ] yeah, come on. whatever your destination, fidelity has the people, guidance, and investments to help you find your way. fidelity investments. turn here. wow, that's a low price!
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a lonely traveler, an epic battle, a few mad men and a geeky high school glee club are a few of the stories you'll hear about tonight when the golden goebz get under way in beverly hills. >> reporter: when hollywood rolls out the red carpet tonight, look for a clash of faraway creatures.
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and monsters within. >> you're a dummy. >> avatar and "preous" are the movies they're talking most about. >> reporter: but with six nods, including best picture drama, "up in the air" might steal the show. rounding out the race for best picture drama, "inglourious basterds" and "the hurt locker." >> very few people have seen "the hurt locker." >> reporter: 2009 is already sandra bullock's year with two golden globe nominations. >> what's remarkable about that is she was best known for doing "miss congeal at" movies and now she's the town's most bank bl actress. >> reporter: on the tv side it's the old veterans. >> oh, ryan, i need a girlfriend so bad. >> reporter: against the new bes. >> you have shows like glee and "modern family" and then the old
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stand-byes people just love like "the office" and of course "30 rock." >> reporter: tonight the golden globes will have something hollywood hasn't seen since 1995, a host. funny man ricky gervais, creator and star of the bbc version of "the office." >> the last time i have sex with 200 middle-aged journalists. >> he makes people laugh so i think you'll see the show come up a whole other notch this year. >> the interesting thing about the globes is thatt's a party. it's basically a chance for the television audience to watch hollywood lebrities have dinner and get drunk. >> reporter: for "today," chris jansing, nbc news. the hollywood foreign press association plans to donate $100,000 to the haitian relief. also a reminder, you can wah the golden globes tonight right here on nbc. we'll be back after this. [ jennifer garner ] there's a lot of beautiful makeup out there...
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before we sign off from port-au-prince i want to bring in my colleague ron allen who's been here the last several days as well and get some thoughts about the significance of where we are in this recovery and the fact it is sunday and a very catholic nation. >> it is sunday in a very catholic nation. i suspect there will be serves all over this country. the bishop here was killed in the earthquake. the central cathedral was also heavily damaged. there's a community here trying to pull together relief and there are miracles happening. there was a woman pulled from the rubble this morning. >> reporter: and you've been covering the adoption story which we had a little about earlier but we learned three families in the kansas city area have received seven children who they have been trying to adopt. the u.s. embassy expedited their departure from the country so
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that's a big relief. >> they're very fortunate the u.s. embassy was able to step in because the haitian government has to approve these adoptions. there are probably a dozen or so other american families in the same circumstance in some part after the -- of the adoption process. >> reporter: jenna, backo you in studio 1a. >> i want to check in with david gregory for what's coming up on "meet the press." >> coming up haiti in ruins. we're going to get the very latest from top officials both in washington and on the ground in port-au-prince, plus a special interview with former presidents george w. bush and bill clinton on their plan to lead relief efforts. then a look at year one of the obama administration, health care and the politics of 2010. it's all coming up this morning. jenna. >> all right, david, thank you. our thanks to janice huff and tamra and lester for your great coverage. i'm be traveling down to haiti later this afternoon. i will see you there. >> reporter: all right, jenna, safe travel.
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see you. we will have continuing coverage when i see you later on nbc five days that seem like an eternity. that's how long it's been since disaster struck the island of haiti. an earthquake with an unimaginable death toll. for many of the survivors, time is running out, along with supplies, along with patience. help is on the way, but not enough of it. >> i know there's a lot of help, a lot of aid, but this catastrophe is in haiti. >> this morning, the world is focused on haiti. the crucial relief efforts underway right now and the monumental challenges that lie in the future.


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